Siena College 3, Rider University 2
LAWRENCEVILLE-The Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game to Siena Sunday. "To be the team we want to be, to be in the position we were in, you have to win this game, and we didn't," said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
Rider (18-28, 11-10 MAAC) moved from sixth place to third place with two wins on Saturday and could have entered the final conference series in third place with a win on Sunday. "Now we'll probably be heading up there (Iona) in fourth or fifth and we're going to have to win at least two up there."
Rider took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a double steal (second and home) and an RBI single by freshman Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South).
"Thomas is playing great," Davis said, "that's why he's in there. He's hitting the ball."
Thomas raised his batting average from .256 to .314 in the last six games.
Thomas and junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) each had two of Rider's eight hits. It marked the ninth time this season that Rider lost a game in which it out-hit the opponent.
Siena (18-31, 8-10 MAAC) tied the score in the fifth inning with two runs on two hits, a walk and a sacrifice bunt, and scored the game-winner in the eighth inning on a single, hit batsman, sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.
"You have to give Siena credit, they bounced back," Davis said.
Rider left 11 runners on base. "It is hard to win like that," Davis said. "We lost the game in the second and third innings." Rider left two runners on base in each of those two innings. "We left too many opportunities."
Rider freshman Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) pitched six and one-third innings, striking out four. "Sowa pitched well enough for the win," Davis said.
Freshman Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) recorded the final five outs without allowing a hit or a run.
"We got a well pitched game, we played very good defense, we did a good enough job to win the ball game," Davis said. "We gotta find a way."
Junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) doubled for the Broncs and stole home on a double steal.
Rider lost two of three at Siena last year. Rider and Siena have now met 52 times since the series began in 1995 with each team having won 26. Rider won all three games against Siena the last time the Saints traveled to Lawrenceville (2010) and all three at Siena in 2009.
The Broncs won the series two games to one. Rider has now won five of the seven MAAC series it has played this year.
"We won the series, so that's a positive thing," Davis said, "but we have to be good enough to put teams away when we should and we didn't do that today."
Rider travels to Iona for its final MAAC series Saturday evening (5pm) in the Bronx at Fordham followed by a 12 noon Sunday doubleheader at Iona in New Rochelle.